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Second iteration of Operation Sandman leads to 170 arrests involving human smuggling


May 26, 2018

YUMA, Arizona – Special Operations Detachment and Intelligence Border Patrol agents detected and apprehended 170 suspects near the Imperial Sand Dunes west of Yuma during a three-week Border Patrol operation between April and May.

Agents from Yuma Sector’s Special Operations Detachment, Yuma and El Centro Sector Intelligence Units, with assistance from the CBP Air and Marine Office apprehended a total of 145 foreign nationals who were being smuggled into the United States near the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. Four of the subjects were Chinese nationals and three were Indian nationals. Twenty-five additional subjects, many of whom were United States citizens, were arrested for coordinating and facilitating human smuggling attempts.

Fifteen vehicles involved were seized and three additional ones were returned to rental companies after the occupants were arrested.

Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony J. Porvaznik stated, “The joint efforts between Yuma and El Centro Sectors and all personnel involved in this operation have made our country and communities safer for everyone. We are committed to enforcing the rule of law and dismantling the criminal organizations that victimize people throughout the world.”

Yuma Sector SOD is comprised of certified special operations agents from the Special Operations Group; the Border Patrol Search Trauma & Rescue Unit; and the Border Patrol Tactical Unit. Agents assigned to this unit undergo an intense training regimen before being certified SOD agents.

Yuma and El Centro Sector intelligence units are responsible for prioritizing, analyzing and providing intelligence support through specialized teams and units that counteract terrorism and transnational crime. SIU enhances intelligence data collection processes ensuring U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Border Patrol objectives are achieved.

An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


All persons, drugs and vehicles are processed per Yuma Sector guidelines. Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt.

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents effectively combat smuggling organizations attempting to illegally transport people and contraband through southwestern Arizona and California. Citizens can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 toll-free to report suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP strives to keep terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.



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